Holding Pattern, Lifted
No language but our own shabby
inventory — your childhood mattress,
2 chipped mugs, 4 pre-dawn sex acts.
No audience but the anorexic air
of Mexico City. Your neighbor
with the incontinent bulldog was there
on the landing. And the other,
the willowy hairdresser you must’ve
been fucking, was there on the stoop
appraising my bad bottle job.
Imposter queen becalmed in her
rented coronation barge, I flaunted
what we were like a liability.
Those scandalous four-inch sandals
tore a smile of blisters across my ankle
until I wanted to be carried home
past the construction on Condesa, to let
the jackhammer’s throes rattle my jaw.
Cones changed the flow of traffic.
Flight attendants took the newspapers
away before the plane landed.
If I’d known then, husband, that you’d fly
due north to find me gloveless in this
ordinary Midwest of hunting rifles and English,
I might’ve ambled through the loudest plazas
in earthquake weather, or kissed the hairdresser
with a mouthful of wax and sympathy.
I might’ve climbed to the rim of the black
volcano and offered the fear I nursed
like a chubby baby to the fire
that will swallow us all, eventually.about the author